“Gladiators and Lions!” Discover MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

My Problem With Doors“This is a most compelling book. It pulls you in to a fascinating concept from the beginning…. I give this book 5 stars.” -The Voracious Reader

Just finished A Jane Austen Daydream? Do you enjoy my blog? Curious to learn what else I have written?

Time travel! Thrills! Adventure! Romance!

After winning a writing competition, My Problem With Doors was  published by the new press IPublish. It is the story of Jacob who is lost in time. When he steps through a door he has no idea where he will turn up. It is an unpredictable book filled with twists and turns and excitement, and the occasional surprise cameo like Jack the Ripper. Below is one of my favorite moments in the novel. I hope you will check it out.

My Problem With Doors is available in print from Amazon via this link. The eBook is exclusively available via Google Play but it can work on any eBook reader, you can find it here (you can also read a sample). It is even available as an audiobook via the publisher’s website.

In this exclusive excerpt below, Jacob finds himself… well… in a very, very, very bad situation with swords and sharp lion claws. (Did I mention this chapter is all in second person?) Enjoy! Continue reading

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Working The Audience: A Very Useful Writing Trick

On the StageI am a little bit of a helpless romantic.

For those who read my novel A Jane Austen Daydream that is not at all surprising. And before I met my wife I thought of my writing as a gateway to the heart.

I was one of those fools that bought into the lie of the romantic novels and the romantic comedy films. You see this plot twist all the time! That grand gesture that makes a person reconsider another in a different light. Oh, it is a great idea in a story, but we all know, honestly, it goes against how people are wired in the real world.

Short stories with hidden messages (and not so hidden ones), books, and I still squirm to remember the poetry. I have admitted a lot of embarrassing stuff on this site, but this is one of those few memories I still want to crawl into a cave and live out my remaining days because of. Yup, just the hint of it makes me want to become a hermit.

I, Scott Southard, was the creator of bad love poems. And I have sent them, strategically left them around, and even mailed them once anonymously in the hope that it would make another stop and see me as hotter (as some kind of light rock classic kicks on in the background like in a bad movie). In the end it never worked… and, by the way, the recipient of the anonymous love poems didn’t even figure out they were from me until I said something! Ouch!

All those bad memories aside, there is something to be said for the importance of an audience. I’m not just talking about the readers all writers dream to have, I mean that more enigmatic dream of a reader. The one we hope will find our work, the one in the back of our mind that drives the creation forward. They demand the story. What many don’t realize is that dream reader can be a tool, and can help over many different steps in the creative process if used right. Just be sure to leave the poetry at home… Continue reading

“…hope remains.” Author Julia Barrett reviews MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

My Problem With DoorsRomance/Fantasy author Julia Barrett has reviewed my time-travel adventure novel My Problem With Doors today (You can read it here). It’s an interesting review as she discusses why she likes my novel and compares it to others in the genre.  Here is an excerpt:

Jacob skips through time, much like Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife, but while Henry couldn’t remember anything that hadn’t yet happened, Jacob grows and matures in a more linear fashion.  He remembers.  He learns.  Each jump, while it may propel him backwards in time, propels him forward as a human being.  From my perspective it makes him a more compelling character than Henry could ever be.  Where Henry was helpless, a victim of his genetic disability, Jacob is far from helpless.  He’s a survivor.

You can read more of the review here. I hope you will check it out and also my novel. I am proud of it, and like with most of my books, if I can promise anything it is that you will be surprised. You can find my book:

  • In print on amazon for $15.95 here.
  • It is available as an eBook (and will work on all devices) via Google Play (here) or on the publisher’s site (here).

“…uncover what it means to be human.” A new review for MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

My Problem With DoorsA very interesting new review is up for my novel MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS (you can read a sample from the book here). It is written by someone I attended high school with and it’s fascinating to read since she shares the personal experience of what it is like to write a review about a book by someone that you know. (Also, it’s a fun insight into how people viewed me growing up, which is… kind of neat).

It’s a wonderfully honest review where she discusses the experience of falling in love with my character Jacob and how Jacob earned that with her; in the end stating that the book is a “treat.”

Ruth Frasur is a librarian with Hagerstown Jefferson Township Library. This is a sample of what she wrote:

I’m not going to get too far into the various setting and plot lines except to say that, although Jacob is cast about through time and place, he experiences many of the same situations as we who are bound by temporal constraints.  His brushes with greatness do provide interesting vignettes for the reader.  It is, however, in the mundane – falling in love; cherishing family; longing for connection; experiencing loss and personal disappointment – where Jacob really comes alive and helped me connect.  I went from the angry reader to a fellow runner in the race of humanity.

You can read all of Ruth’s personal and straightforward review here. And you can find MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS…

  • In print on amazon for $15.95 here.
  • It is available as an eBook (and will work on all devices) via Google Play (here) or on the publisher’s site (here).

I hope you will consider checking it out…

A Battle With Pirates! An Excerpt from My Problem With Doors

Pirate ShipToday I am sharing a scene from my novel My Problem With Doors. It is currently available in print via amazon.com (here) and in eBook format via Google Play (here).

My Problem With Doors is the story of Jacob who is lost in time.

The pirate ship the Bloody Scourge was the bane of the Caribbean isles in the 1680s. Its ten years of brutality and pillaging were legend throughout the world. Many a dark pirate tale originated with that ship, though over time other crews and captains tried to claim the yarns as their own.

To be found at sea by that ship was to be confronted by the very face of death. The soldiers of port cities, naval sailors patrolling coastlines, and harbormasters all found themselves working long hours with little rest when even just a hint floated about that the

Bloody Scourge had entered their waters. There was no vessel more perilous, no crew more dangerous, and no captain more bloodthirsty. Continue reading

The publisher of MEGAN and MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS likes my blog!

The publisher of My Problem With Doors and Megan likes this writing blog and what I am doing on it. Neat! She just wrote an article on the publisher’s site, including excerpts she liked and links to some of my pieces.  You can check it out here:

http://www.ipublishpress.com/ippblog/scott-southard-is-writing-up-a-storm/

And thanks a lot Terry and Michelle and the iPublish Press crew! (When can we work together again?)

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This entry is about time.

The first stop is into the past, to the beginning of this blog. And let me be frightfully honest, I began this blog for purely selfish reasons. There was nothing in my mind really about readers, it was merely to get my writing voice back… and yes, it was something I had lost and in many ways I thought might have been gone for good.

See, a few years ago I lost my literary agent (I wrote extensively about this experience in this editorial as well), and it devastated me since I knew, in losing that agent, I had lost time in my career. Like being forced to go back spaces in a board game; I was near the end of the game, and now I was back at the first square, wondering how I got there and do I really want to play so much of the game again?

No. My initial reaction was to walk away from the board and throw my token back in the box. I was over it. Continue reading

Time to Share! Some Southard Samples

Today, I thought I would link to some samples I have shared from some of my novels in the past. Think of this as something like Show and Tell, but it is my turn and no one gets a turn but me… Oh, and everyone has to listen and applaud at the end with a hint of jealousy… oh yes, and run out and buy all my books and love me.

Okay, maybe not all that, but you get the gist.

I have two novels currently in print. They were both honored in a novel-writing competition before being selected for publication by a new indie press. They are Megan and My Problem With Doors. I am really proud of both books.

Megan is the story of Megan Wane. Megan lives in two different worlds. In the real world, she is a very bored office worker, frustrated by the direction her life has taken and dealing with a micro-managing boss. In her fantasy world though, Megan is a princess superhero, The Great Defender.

In this excerpt (here), Megan deals with a very “bureaucratic” dragon. You can find my book on amazon.com here.

My Problem With Doors is the story of Jacob who has been stuck time traveling ever since he was a toddler. His “problem” is a unique one; doors do not work for him as they do for us, and when he enters one he never knows what he will meet on the other side.

In this excerpt (here) from the novel, Jacob has dinner with Jack the Ripper. You can find the book on amazon.com here.

A lot of my work over this year has been trying to find a home for A Jane Austen Daydream, my most current novel. Last year, it was selected to be shared online by greenspotblue.com. (Those links to the chapters from the book can still be found on the A Jane Austen Daydream page.)  My hope is to find an agent for the work and then get it published. So if you are an agent or publisher reading this… ah… hi...

A Jane Austen Daydream is not a biography, it is not even close to being one. In the book, I am “retelling” Jane’s life as if she was one of the characters in her novel, giving her the love story she deserved and never had.

This selection (here) is chapter two from the first part of the work.

Thanks for reading! And please, if you like what you read, share the work on your page or share with your friends or buy the books or visit the Austen page or tell your aunt who is an agent about me or send me cookies… I like cookies. Who doesn’t?

Dinner With Jack the Ripper… a scene from MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS

Today, I am going to do something a little different and share a scene from my novel My Problem With Doors. After being honored in a novel writing competition, it was published by a new small press in late 2010 (you can find it on amazon.com here and as an eBook on Google here).

This is probably one of my favorite moments from the novel. I hope you enjoy this excerpt. 

He was waiting at a table in a private part of the restaurant. He was sitting alone and tracing his fork across the tablecloth. He seemed to be fascinated by the lines they made on the fabric. His medical tool chest was nearby on a separate chair. It was as if he had positioned his weapons so I would know that they were there. It was when he took a sip of his red wine that he noticed me standing near him. His smile broke into a frown. “You’re late.”

“You didn’t give me a time.”

That answer didn’t appease him. “I’m not the kind of person who should be kept waiting.”

I decided not to test him with a biting reply and sat quietly across from him.

Jack seemed to be overjoyed that I was there. He clapped his hands cheerfully and motioned for the waiter to come over. “My guest has arrived.” Continue reading

My March 2012 Update

Now that I am three months into this experiment that is my blog, I’ll like to give some updates on some of the things I have written about (I’ll probably do this from time to time).

Writing here has been an interesting experience for me, and I think I am a better writer for it, but really who am I to judge?

My update is in three parts.  

Part I: School Days…

I never considered myself popular when I was a teenager. Oh, I had some close friends, but pretty much that is where it stopped for me. I really didn’t need more. Strangely, this reality changed for me 20 years after graduating from high school and just over the last 5 or so days.

See, on Tuesday, I learned that my old high school was closing and merging with our arch rivals. On Wednesday, I realized it was definitely stirring some emotions, so I sat down and worked on an essay to explain my thoughts around it. Continue reading